By Nkiruka Nnorom
Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, managers of Nigeria sovereign wealth fund, has said that 40 per cent of the additional $250 million (an equivalent of N49.3 billion) allocated to it by the Federal Government February this year would be deployed to fund on-going infrastructure projects on behalf of the government.
The Authority said that another 40 per cent of the fund would be invested in alternative assets classes, an area it recorded remarkable success in 2015, while the remaining 20 per cent would be deployed to the Stabilisation Fund.
According to Mr. Uche Orji, Managing Director/CEO, NSIA, the Authority has identified agriculture, healthcare, motorways, power and real estate as five key sectors for infrastructure development, adding that they are part of the 15 investable sectors contained in its Infrastructure Rolling Plan.
He noted that NSIA has increased commitment to development of institutions that would enhance infrastructure investments in the country, while assuring it would continue to explore other asset management opportunities on behalf of the Federation as outlook for the oil market remained challenging.
Orji disclosed that NSIA commenced early works III (EW3) as part of the preliminary construction activities on the second Niger Bridge (2NB) project site in 2015. “Having successfully completed this undertaking in January 2016, coupled with the recent passing of the budget, which expressly contained allocations to the project, engagements toward facilitating financial close have been given added impetus. Once the Concession Agreement and supporting documents are executed, the project is expected to move to financial close,” he said.
According to him, the Authority advanced its healthcare investment programme in the previous year, which involved the development of five modern medical diagnostic centers and a specialist hospital across the six geopolitical regions of the country. Till date, he said, the NSIA has approached 14 federal healthcare institutions across the country.
“The Authority signed a binding agreement with a consortium of private sector diagnostic center operators to develop, construct and operate the diagnostic centers. This will bring best-in-class technical expertise to the process and enhance overall service quality.
The first phase of the programme will commence with three projects – Federal Medical Center Umuahia (South-East) and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (North-West) will commence in the H2 2016 and project development for the specialist hospital to be cited in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) (South-West) is expected to commence in Q2 2016.
“Federal hospitals in each of the remaining three geo-political zones – North-Central, South-South and North-East – have been identified for potential development of diagnostic centers, and are expected to commence development work following approval from the Federal Ministry of Health,” he said.
In the real sector, he said the focus is to partner institutional investors and other sovereign funds to create a real estate co-investment vehicle that will develop real estate projects in Nigeria.
He added that NSIA has received interests from institutional investors and expects the co-investment vehicle to be operational this year.
“In addition, NSIA is currently conducting due-diligence and negotiations on a number of large scale commercial and real estate projects,” he said.